College’s collaboration on supporting incoming students produces High School Sessions opportunities
Photos and Story by Alfredo V. Moreno
The Oregon high school graduating classes of 2021 will forever be a part of history. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are the first to have spent the vast majority of their final year engaged in comprehensive distance learning. They have had to relearn how to do their academic work while also adopting new ways of interpersonal connection with teachers and classmates alike.
With all that they’ve endured and overcome, it’s understandable why many soon-to-be graduates and their families may feel overwhelmed by the applications, financial aid, advising and other critical steps required in the transition to college. Portland Community College’s new High School Senior Sessions is here to help.
Connect with the college’s Admissions and Recruitment team, sign up for a 1-on-1 appointment, or find out about upcoming events.
This collaborative effort between the college’s admissions and recruitment, enrollment advisor, new student program coordinator, and financial aid teams is designed to give students a chance to connect with key staff who can meet them where they are academically and walk them through the process of becoming a PCC student. For admission and recruiting coordinators like Becca Wolf, these sessions are an opportunity to provide clear, consistent, and highly accessible support in a time of so much uncertainty.
“Given the constantly changing look of the school day and classroom for high school seniors this year, we wanted to provide a consistent virtual space where they are able to access support throughout their admissions journey from wherever they are,” Wolf said.
Participants in any of the six upcoming day or evening Senior Sessions (April 28, May 5, 12 and 19) will have an opportunity to not only learn about, but actually complete many of the following tasks with the real time help of college staff:
- PCC Admissions Application.
- Entering high school grades into MyPCC.
- FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
- ORSAA (Oregon Student Aid Application).
- Oregon Promise Application.
- Additional Financial Aid requirements for verification.
- Signing up for a New Student Advising and Registration Session (NSAR).
For Wolf, the Senior Sessions are another way that PCC is working to build relationships with incoming students, helping them to feel more comfortable and confident as they approach this new chapter in their lives.
“Even in this remote work environment, there have been so many ways to connect and engage people,” she said. “I love finding creative opportunities to collaborate with others, both inside PCC and with the community, to help make going to college more accessible and approachable.”
Wolf said the sessions are excellent for incoming students to prepare for the New Student Advising and Registration Sessions (NSARS) while increasing a sense of belonging that’s integral to student success.
“Senior Sessions are a way for students to continue building relationships and connections to PCC and staff,” she said. “We believe this will have a big impact on retention, helping students stay focused and excited about their college plans through the summer.”
At the end of the day, it’s those relationships that students develop at PCC that often make the biggest impact on their success. It’s why Wolf said she wakes up excited to dive into each day in her role.
“I have the opportunity to help people explore their options to gain knowledge and skills that will ultimately allow them to create better lives for themselves,” she said. “It makes this work a true joy and pleasure to do.”